Saturday, March 8, 2014



Gaijin Explorer will stop here and move to another site:

Thank you to everyone who has dropped by here,

but don't stop there!

Go to the new site for your gaijin fix.

It's not quite exactly what I want, but hopefully with time it will improve and better serve it's purpose,

expressing myself and entertaining you.


Thursday, March 6, 2014

Putting Down the Sword, For Real This Time

I can't help but remember breaking up with a girlfriend I had in college.

We had been together about a month. She was amazing. But it just didn't fit.

It was something I thought about for a long time. When it happened, I said we were finished, and she didn't really understand why, but also did.

I had tears of sadness and frustration, listened to loud music, and indulged in herbal remedies not uncommon for a student in San Francisco.

But then I felt better, and it was something that needed to happen.

That's kind of how I feel right now.

I just called my iai sensei and said that I'm doing too much and that I'm going to quit iai for now. We talked about this at length before and it's not completely out of the blue.

I dreaded making the phone call, but knew I couldn't put it off any more. (This is something I feel like I've gotten stronger at with age ... dealing with these types of things immediately and swiftly.) Sensei was super understanding and accomodating and said I am welcome back in the dojo anytime.

That made me happy. I respect him greatly as a teacher in this.

I feel bad and want to do something to compensate for the feelings, but there is nothing to be done or said. Just move on to the next step in life.

Iai is great. The dojo here is awesome. But trying to fit iai into my life is too much.

It's extra money to be sucked out every month when I'm worrying about bills.

It's a day taken away from kyudo which I only want to practice more.

Perhaps I could move the iai day to Thursday when the kyudo dojo is closed, but then I'm full everyday. I haven't been to the mountains in so long. I haven't comfortably relaxed on a weekday morning in a long time. Writing projects keep getting moved back for training. Time spent in the house is overcome by the desire to swing the sword.

I just have too much going on right now with things I want to progress. I had a great couple months with iai and feel like I learned a lot ... far too much to write here now, but there are a lot of important subjects I will touch on in the near future.

Generally, I feel like I have made some large steps in my mind and heart concerning budo practice.

We only need one.

If that one is good, it will be complete, and worthy of your whole attention. For now, kyudo is that for me.

Budo is not my entire life, and does not deserve all of my free time. I thought maybe it did, which is why I started iaido, along with a genuine curiousity. But it is not everything.

Budo is a very important part of my life, but just a part of the whole.

Budo is my study of life, in a very physical, intuitive way. It is a practice that is made rich by the people I meet along the way. I don't think I could live happy without my budo practice now, but that does not mean there aren't other similar things as well.

I also work full time. I'm looking for more work. I'm studying Japanese.

And that's just the bolts and nuts not so important stuff.

I'm also a husband, a son, and a brother. I have a life to live and experience.

In the big picture ... it's just that ...

A big picture.

Sunday, March 2, 2014



Been a while.

Been busy.

So much to write, not enough time or space allowance here. But I've had serious withdrawals from being away from the blog, so I hope this little post will give me some peace.

So what's been happening lately?

-Trying to get my driver's license which is as long and drawn out as I've heard from the horror stories. Hopefully that can end Wednesday as Oita Prefecture hands me a license, or maybe I'll have to go back again.

-Been getting paperwork for getting married lined up. Not too difficult, but lots of time and thoughts. Perhaps in an ideal world this happens in a flash. Or maybe it's supposed to be drawn out.

-Getting used to bills in the new apartment which are way more than I was informed about in the beginning. Wife looking for a job.

-Been going through a plateau in kyudo, but last week I feel like I've unlocked something huge in my tenouchi (hand that holds the bow) and I think my kyudo will change greatly for the better.

-I don't feel like quitting iaido, and am just trying to enjoy it and keep that one day of practice alive while swinging the sword when I feel like it 15 minutes here and there in the apartment. Hopefully I can move it to another day which will give me more time for kyudo.

-Been exploring some really cool places around the new area of northern Kyushu I hope to post about in the near future.


getting ready to change the blog. I'm preparing a switch from blogspot to wordpress.


I've read enough times that wordpress has more options and is a bit of an upgrade from blogspot, and I want some kind of change, that I'm ready to make it happen.

So over the past couple weeks I've been getting started and setting things up ... and like I've read, it's definitely not as simple as they make it out to be. I remember when I started this blog I basically spent about 15 minutes getting things started and I was rolling. Given I'm trying to add more things from the start and make it a bit nicer, but holy crap, I don't know how many hours I've spend already and I'm not ready to start rolling. IT BETTER BE DAMN GOOD! Through all the frustration I feel confident about some of the options that wordpress has, and yet on the other hand feel a bit skeptical of all the change.

I don't know.

Is it worth all the trouble?

Is any of this worth all the trouble?

Who cares! This is life.

Any thoughts?

Any advice from wordpress users?